Palmetto Cheese: Highlights of our Pawleys Island pilgrimage

J. H. Osborne • Feb 9, 2020 at 7:30 PM

For the past week I’ve been helping Mom check a few items off her “twilight years bucket list.” I don’t count it as a plain old bucket list (a term I really don’t like, but know its meaning is easily understood). I qualify Mom’s as “twilight years” because it’s mainly things she wants to do again. When she’s being particularly a Southern grandma of a certain age and mood, she’ll say specifically these are things she hopes she can do again “one last time.”

My siblings and I do not discount the inevitability that Mom, at 86.5 (but still up and able, except on days when she’s just middlin’), will eventually have done some of these things for the last time. But she’s not ill. (Thanks be to God.) And she hasn’t done some of these things in a long, long time because she’s been doing lots of other things.

Anyhow. We’ve been at Litchfield-By-The-Sea, twixt Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet. Our hosts: my sister and brother-in-law, Pamela and Larry Fagans, who are wintering there this month. It has long been their chosen wintertime getaway. But this is the first year they’ve both been fully retired. So they’re staying longer than in the past and asked us to come down for at least a week. Pam said Mom has told her repeatedly that she wanted to go “to the beach” at least one more time. I’ll have more on that later. But “the beach,” for Mom, means South Carolina’s Grand Strand. She hadn’t been to Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, or Pawleys Island in decades. We think it has been 12-13 years since she was last at a North Carolina beach.

Palmetto Cheese is my go-to brand of pimento cheese. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things to eat. With brand taglines like “The pimento cheese with soul!” and “The Taste of Southern Hospitality,” how could it not be? Seriously, I love its taste and texture. I knew the label says it originated at Pawleys Island. But I hadn’t thought much about that before we got to Litchfield.

My sister said she’d already been to Get Carried Away and stocked up on some stuff, but one night we’d order their low country boil. She doesn’t care for low country boil, but Larry loves it and she thought I did, too (she’s right). I still didn’t know Get Carried Away is “Home to Palmetto Cheese.” She later explained and said I’d probably find a lot of other stuff I’d like.

I did. I have a new favorite. If it were available at the supermarket, like Palmetto Cheese (stocked at 9,200 locations in 48 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico), I’d buy it all the time. What is it?  Get Carried Away Southern Takeout’s smoked trout dip. It is heaven on a cracker. I didn’t have any bagels, but it would be heaven schmeared there. Yes, I would love that for breakfast.

Other items we tried and I loved: Larry and I did order the low country boil featuring “locally sourced shrimp, potatoes, corn, sausage, onions, garlic, lemons, seasonings, and cocktail sauce” ($12 per person, two-person minimum order, preorder required, pickup times are 5 p.m. to close); Pawleys Island crab dip (Palmetto Cheese, crab meat and seasonings); collard green dip (similar to spinach dip, yet different); Carolina Cavier (black-eyed peas, hominy, red onion, garlic, peppers and tomatoes). It was all delicious and I want to go back and try more of Get Carried Away Southern Takeout’s menu of take-and-bake casseroles, mains and side dishes.

Next time you’re “at the beach,” I highly recommend stocking up at Get Carried Away Southern Takeout. It is located at 10126 Ocean Hwy. Suite 5B, Pawleys Island. Phone (843) 314-3493.

Today we left Litchfield and will be visiting my cousin Kerry Roller and his wife, Becky, in Charleston for a couple of days. It’s Mom’s first trip to the area. Check another item off that list of hers.

J.H. Osborne covers Sullivan County government for the Times News. Email him at josborne@timesnews.net.